What is natural language vs. terms & connectors searching?

Carefully choosing and entering search terms is key to getting the results you want. Lexis Advance Quicklaw supports both natural language and terms & connectors searches and automatically determines which type of search to run, based on the search terms you enter.

A natural language search enables you to enter your search terms as a question using the words, phrases, citations, and syntax you would use if asking another person about the information you are seeking. In a natural language search, Lexis Advance Quicklaw analyzes your search query both to uncover the significant terms it contains and to interpret its actual meaning. An example of a natural language search would be

What efforts has the fast food industry made to use recyclable packages?

By contrast, a terms & connectors search consists of multiple words, phrases, or citations connected to each other by special operational terms called connectors. The connectors identify the relationships that must exist between those terms in order to produce relevant research results. For example, terms & connectors searches enable you to find documents where a given word or phrase is in the same paragraph as a second word or phrase or to find documents that contain a given word or phrase, but not certain other words or phrases, and so on. An example of a terms & connectors search would be

capital and not gains

For more information on search connectors, see Understanding terms & connectors searches.

Note: You can enter search terms & connectors directly into the search box, or you can select the Search Everything button at the right edge of the search box, select Advanced Search, and use the form that appears to enter the terms and connectors. For more information, see Lexis Advance® Quicklaw® Tip Sheets.

Because each type of search may produce different results, after your search results appear, Lexis Advance Quicklaw enables you to choose the alternate type of search by selecting the Actions link at the top of the results list. For more information, see Natural language and terms & connectors searches in the help article describing results lists.

Finally, when you run a natural language search, either standard (only the top) results or expanded (all) results appear in the results list, according to what specification is selected in the Settings option. If standard results are specified, then you can select Expanded results from the Actions list at the top of the results list to view expanded (all) results. Or, if expanded results are specified, you can select Fewer results to view only the standard (top) results.

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